On Wednesday, May 22, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a new rule entitled the “Revised Requirements Under Community Planning and Development Housing Programs.” This proposed rule specifically targets transgender and gender nonconforming people for discrimination and harm. As written, it permits government-funded shelters to establish policies in determining the “sex” of a person based on “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations.” In spite of recent testimony from Secretary Ben Carson, where he stated that he did not anticipate changing the previously enacted Equal Access Rule, this newly proposed rule does just that.
The language in this proposed rule continues this administration’s ongoing attacks against trans and gender nonconforming people, much like the language in the recent Final Conscience Rule from the US Department of Health and Human Services. And, as with that rule, Howard Brown adamantly opposes this proposed rule.
In response to this proposed rule, Howard Brown’s Manager of External Relations, Channyn L. Parker stated: “As a trans woman, I know all too well that the LGBTQ community faces egregious bias and rampant bigotry daily. We are not asking for special rights, what we are demanding is that we have access to safe, fair housing and that we have access to appropriate shelter. What we are demanding is a life without fear, like everyone else.”
This proposed rule, if finalized in its current form, would allow federally funded shelters to deny access to trans and gender nonconforming people seeking shelter. Taken alone, this proposed rule will lead to greater discrimination, but when considering that trans and gender nonconforming people disproportionately experience homelessness and housing insecurity, this new policy is all the more dangerous.
“This rule is not only discriminatory, but further alienates some of the most marginalized people in our community,” said David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO.
We will continue to work on behalf of our patients and community members because we know that housing and shelter are integral to holistic health and wellbeing. Here at Howard Brown, we know that advocating for our community goes beyond our clinics and means standing up to targeted attacks that harm us in every aspect of our lives.
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Casey Callich, Communications Manager, Howard Brown Health
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